The dynamic shift from film to digital in the film making process saw the industry rejoice at no longer having to worry about the expense of film rolls. Producers loved the cost effectiveness while technicians wowed at the control digital gave them over the process. But what difference did it make for the actors who had to put the same skills to use regardless of the mechanism recording their act? During an interaction with the media, Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan, veterans from yester years, shared how digital has turned into a litmus test of their patience.
“We as stars from the film era have an edit pattern in mind. But these days with digital, they keep asking for retakes one after another. For the first retake they would say the lens was not right, then for the next it would be like let’s take it from another angle. The director starts taking the scene from every angle like covering the shot in 360,” complained a 65-year-old Kapoor wearing a light pink jacket. One might assume that these social media savvy stars would love the digital filmmaking but it turns out there are not that crazy about the retake side effect of it.
Bachchan further elaborated on their dilemma, “We are from the old school were we were not given the opportunity to give more than one or two take. So we are artistically inclined to finish the shot in that first or second take. But when the director keeps asking for retakes because there is no limit on the time or film, the feel goes away. At the end he just says ok print take one because those were the ones that were best.”
While it may feel that the two veterans are having trouble adapting to technological advancement ,they do understand the advantages digital filmmaking has brought about interms of sound, visual, size of the camera and others. While they appreciate the efforts of those trying to keep film shooting alive, Bachchan does agree that going back to film is not a viable option. His statement comes after he met Hollywood auteur Christopher Nolan, who continues to shoot in film and propagates the same, last month in Mumbai.
Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan before meeting Christopher Nolan.
Bachchan and Kapoor’s animosity towards retakes, a default of the digital age according to them, is understandable for these stars learnt that retakes are a luxury. But then again, these men have outlived their counterparts in the trade and continue to make us laugh and cry with their acts no matter the retakes. For these men, digital is just a format and their craft the ultimate stroke.